Liverpool vs Manchester – an incredible novice boxing rivalry

Miles Templeton seems again on the North-West Counties Championships, the place Liverpool usually confronted Manchester

Common readers of this column will know that I’ve a gentle spot for novice boxing, particularly the golden period of sport in Britain, the Nineteen Fifties to Nineteen Eighties, when novice boxing was essentially the most aggressive and the usual was so excessive. Additionally, you will know that I remorse the adjustments to the construction of the ABAs, the place the previous regional competitions have largely misplaced their identification. The London Divisionals, which I wrote about again in June 2019, have been very tough to win, and the identical goes for the North-West Counties Championships.

At the moment, the northwestern counties have been divided into two areas, the east and the west. This meant that the boys from Liverpool within the western space got here into direct competitors with these from Manchester within the east. It might be tough to search out two English cities which have a larger rivalry and this was mirrored in boxing, because the respective champions from the 2 cities usually clashed within the North West Finals. There have been in fact many different boxers from completely different components of Cheshire and Lancashire who gained this remaining, together with Frankie Taylor (Lancaster), George and Ray Gilbody (St. Helens), Kelvin Travis (Oldham) and Steve Hill (Blackpool). however the guys from the 2 cities dominated the occasion.

The championships have usually been held at Liverpool Stadium and Belle Vue, Manchester, with the occasional Preston Guildhall and Kirkby Sports activities Heart, and the checklist of champions reads like a who’s who of the greats – John Conteh, Alan Rudkin , Joey Singleton, George Turpin, Terry Wenton, John Lynch and Robbie Davies from Merseyside and Phil Martin, Ray Shiel, Alan Tottoh, Kenny Webber, Eddie Copeland and Lee Hartshorn from Cotton Metropolis.

Let’s return to certainly one of these championships and check out the event. On March 15, 1973, the Championships have been held at Liverpool Stadium in entrance of an enormous crowd of almost 4 thousand individuals. Within the heavyweight division, Les McGowan of Speke, who was #1 in the entire of Nice Britain on the time, needed to resign as a result of a again damage. This opened the door for Paul Sykes, a boy from Wakefield who lately enrolled with the Liverpool membership Golden Gloves ABC. Sykes had destroyed former NW Counties champ Terry Connor in two rounds to win the western title, and he did the same job with Manchester’s 19-year-old Barry Peacock (Cavendish ABC) to win the title. He ultimately misplaced to Garfield McEwan within the ABA semifinals, and McEwan gained the ABA title that yr earlier than turning into an honest skilled.

Two different Liverpool fighters, Joe Lally and Robbie Davies, additionally gained their welterweight and lightweight middleweight titles, respectively. Each have been huge puncher, and Davies was notably devastating when he knocked out one other Mancunian from the Cavendish Membership, Carlton Lyons. Carl Speare, who fought as a professional towards Larry Paul, Billy Knight and Maurice Hope, gained his solely NW Counties championship by ousting Terry Dolan (BDS) over the complete course, and George Gilbody, one of many best amateurs of the period, gained the bantamweight walkover when Keith Howard (Ardwick) retired.

One other distinctive expertise, southpaw John Lynch of Kensington, gained featherweight by defeating Paul Dykes (Brookdale Park), and Tony Carroll and Steve Hill have been distinguished mild and lightweight heavyweight winners, respectively. Beneath these names there have been many future professionals and so they have all handed a troublesome string of competitions to turn out to be Northwest Champion in a difficult period. Since 1957, the 2 groups from the japanese and western areas had competed for the Jack M. Peel Memorial Trophy, awarded to the area with essentially the most winners, and the Liverpool boys by no means misplaced it. In 1973 they triumphed with 9 fights to at least one, however solely certainly one of their representatives, John Lynch, gained this yr’s ABAs.

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